What Does Revival Look Like to Me Right Now?

The last few weeks in our church we have truly seen a shift in services and we have felt what I would call some “birth pains” of revival. You know what I mean. When you begin to feel new life coming and excitement and hunger are in the atmosphere!  If you have been in church for years you have all kinds of thoughts come into your mind when people mention the word “revival and revival fire”.  You may see a powerful meeting in your mind where people are being saved or you may see extended meetings night after night where people are getting saved and set free.  But these last few weeks have been different enough that is has caused me to ask the question.  “Lord, what does revival look like for this season here?”  God knows I don’t want to have any religious, preconceived ideas or try to make anything happen on my own.  I just want to know what God wants when He says revival.

In answering my question of what revival looks like, I have seen God stirring this revival in me through questions either He is asking me or I am asking Him.

One of those questions was, “When was the last time, Karen, you asked me to convict you of any sin that was in your heart?”  Wow, that question stung me.  I began to think about it and again, I had to be honest with myself.  I don’t know of any sin in my life right now.  Most of us as Christians do try our best to live holy and right before God. It’s not that I don’t deal with sin but I quickly realized that many times I wait for Him to bring it to my attention and then I deal with it.  Ouch!  The bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”  It goes on to say in verse 10 “I, the Lord, search the heart. I test the mind even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. Now God didn’t ask me the question because He didn’t know the answer. God wanted me to answer the question and begin to pray that God would break my heart for the things that break His heart. That includes things I do that don’t please Him too.

Another example is while in early morning prayer last week, a line in a worship song I was listening to became a moment of yet another question. This time it was me asking God a question. The song All My Worship was playing in the background and I heard the line:

I will stay here for a little while
Till I look like the one I behold

Immediately, I saw myself in a mirror asking myself this question – Do I look like Him?
Or do I look like me?
Have I spent enough time in His presence to look like Him?

That question came with a flood of others such as,
Do my actions look like what He would do?
Do my thoughts reflect what is His Word ?
Do my words give grace like His do?
Do my words carry weight like His do?
Do my eyes see through the flesh into the Spirit realm ?
Do my deeds line to up His? Do I go about doing good?
If you asked a friend, would they say I looked like Jesus?
If you asked my family would they say I looked like Jesus?
If you asked my coworkers would they say I looked like Jesus?
If you asked a stranger would they say I looked like Jesus?
Better yet, if you asked my enemy would they say I looked like Jesus?

That last one really broke me.  But in my heart as I am crying out for revival I have to say I want to look like Him when I look in the mirror. I don’t want to see me. I want to see Jesus. I want others to see Jesus.

This is the way we truly die to self – When YOU desire to look like Him so desperately that YOU don’t matter anymore. We try in our own flesh to die to ourselves and obey what Jesus said in His Word. But today I realized that “to truly die to myself is to pursue the desire to look like Him and then I will be no more”.

The Word tells us that Jesus Himself never did independently apart from the Father.
Oh, how we love to boast on our independence. But independence is really all about SELF.
The dictionary meaning says things like “to be free from the control of another, not depending on another’s authority”. It means we consider ourselves self sufficient, self reliant, self supporting and self standing.

While hearing myself asking all those questions, I could hear my heart all the while saying,
Mirror mirror on the wall
Who is the greatest of them all
I want to see Jesus….when I look in my mirror.

So what does revival look like to me right now?  It’s coming in the form of questions. Questions that like arrows are shooting straight into my heart causing some pain but bringing a refreshing that follows the repentance just as His Word promises us in Acts 10:19.

As for revival, these questions feel like an alarm clock to my spirit. They are waking me up. They are demanding my response. Now just like an alarm clock, I have options.  I can turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.  I can hit the “snooze” button and deal with issues another time or I can respond by waking up, dealing with any sin the Lord shows in my heart, known or unknown. My heart is stirring with revival to pursue Him more.  Revival Fire Fall!  I only know in part what you look like but I am ready for all God has to pour out on us!

Now I have but one question for you today, “Do you have time for God to interrupt your life with revival?”  If you are wondering what revival looks like, I pray you will answer with a shout of “Yes, Lord! Bring revival and interrupt my life and show me what revival looks like!”

Chose to Forgive

By Pastor Karen Adams

Our Christian life will be strengthened and character built when we chose to do things God’s way. The world doesn’t understand how to forgive. Their approach is “an eye for an eye”. No wonder so many people are spiritually blind. We have plucked one another’s eyes out to the point of spiritual blindness. God has a supernatural way to deal with offenses, hurts, and sin. It’s what His Son demonstrated on the cross when He said “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do”.

As Christians, our character should be one of forgiveness. The bible tells us that “freely you have received, freely give”. Yet we see in Christian believers so many times the struggle in the area of forgiving others. Years ago when Brian first told me he was writing a book about forgiveness, I remember asking him, “Why would you write a book on forgiveness? Everyone knows you have to forgive.” Little did I realize how ignorant I was to make such a statement. As months past after the publication of his book, The Power of Forgiveness, calls came in day after day. I overheard time and time again people that had been Christians for years that didn’t know how or even if they could ever forgive people that had hurt them or done them wrong. Watching the power of God come and set people free just by releasing and forgiving others that have hurt or sinned against them was life changing. The circumstances each caller found themselves in was all different but the common denominator was one thing – unforgiveness.

I love the fact that even as I am typing right now on my computer the “red squiggly line” underlines the word unforgiveness. The word unforgiveness is not recognized as a word. When I go back to see why the computer gives me this alert, I see that it also gives me options to correct the problem. I can choose to ignore the word, add it to my dictionary or replace it with another word. If I ignore it, the word unforgiveness remains. If I add it to my dictionary, I now can use the word over and over again in any sentence that I type and it will not correct me again. That’s what many do. We know that as Christians we are not supposed to walk in unforgiveness but we keep it in our heart and carry on with life. After a period of time our hearts add the unforgiveness to the dictionary of our hearts. So we continue in unforgiveness allowing the enemy access to our souls. What if we would chose to replace the word unforgiveness with what even a computer that has no heart suggests? Forgiveness. The computer will not make the correction for me. I have to choose to forgive.

Make the choice today. CHOSE TO FORGIVE. Forgiveness cannot change your past and events that have happened in your life but it can sure change your future.

Attractive is a Choice!

The word attractive has been on my mind lately. Everyone wants to be attractive. There are millions of dollars spent every day on face creams, fat burners, gym memberships, teeth whiteners, hair products, etc. All because people want to be attractive. Wanting to better yourself is a good thing. However, it’s not just the outward appearance that makes a person attractive.

I have met many “pretty/handsome” people, but their attitudes and actions were ugly. They were NOT attractive. I think of the scripture Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.

Oh the Pharisees made sure their robes were just right and walked around with pious looks, but look what Jesus said to them! He said their insides were full of every impurity. When I think of impurity, I think of a river teeming with trash. Picture that. What an ugly mess. No one wanted to hear what the Pharisees said because they were ugly in their ways, they were hypocrites, no doubt mean, prideful and downright unattractive to everyone but themselves. Even if their way was right, who would want to listen to them? They set a bar so high, no one could reach it, yet they esteemed themselves as having done so. How foolish!

Attractive obviously means pleasing to look at, but another one of the definitions is having beneficial qualities or features that induce someone to accept what is being offered.

As Christians, we have the greatest gift living on the inside of us. We have THE answer to life’s problems and situations. We should be the most beautiful, kind, caring and attractive people on planet earth.

Galatians 5:22 says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness If we, daily bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, forbearance (extend mercy), kindness, goodness and faithfulness in our daily walk, would that not be attractive? When unfair and frustrating things happen in your workplace, if you respond with the fruit of the Spirit, while others respond with the fruit of their flesh, would that not be different? Would you not be more attractive in this situation? Why? Because you are putting on humility and displaying Christ.

Studies show that attractive people get better paying jobs, better positions, and garner more favor than an average looking person. And we have all seen that happen. However, I believe that greater is He that is living in us – and that if we would just allow Christ in us, to be the hope that shines out of us, we would be the most attractive people around. (And I also believe this attractiveness would transcend any physical qualities we lack!)

Yes, I know there will always be people who will hate us. I get that. But if they hate us because we are displaying the love of God, they hate God, not us! However, there are people we are all called to reach and they aren’t looking for a pious, religious zealot. They are looking for a kind, compassionate, caring human being who can show them there is a better way; a person who is approachable because they can tell (by our actions) that we CARE. There are many people who call themselves Christians, but display hate, anger and rage. I want to tell them- you don’t identify with me! Quit saying you are a Christian if you don’t act like Jesus! Now, do we hate sin? YES! Do we hate people? NO. For far too long, many in the church have blurred this line! We must speak the truth in love and we must separate the sin from the sinner. Remember, Jesus died for the vilest sinner! We were ALL sinners before we came to Christ. Jesus died because He loved us. Love is attractive!

What I am saying is – being attractive is a choice. Just like we choose to brush our hair, wear make-up or cologne, we can choose peace, and joy and to extend grace. We can choose to handle chaos with grace and turmoil with peace. How? By submitting ourselves daily to the Lord. The Book of James says we submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. People are watching how we handle life and they are looking for answers. And while we may not be able to choose what comes at us, we can choose how we respond. We can choose to react in a hateful, mean, ugly way, or we can respond in love, and attract His will into the situation. When we attract His will, we become attractive to others who desire His will, even if they don’t know it.

Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”– In the same way – which way? The same as when a light is sat on a lamp stand to give light to others – not hidden away, no the word says it should shine before all. We are to let Christ shine. The more we let Him shine through us, the more love, peace and grace will come forth from our lives. We will be a cool drink for someone on a hot day… We will be wisdom to the confused and hope to the hopeless. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is attractive. It is life. It is breath. It is love.

For everyone who is searching, it is what they are searching for. Not everyone will receive and not everyone is searching, but for those who are, let’s be attractive. May our lives attract those who need an answer and may we be ready with grace and love to speak it to them! Let’s show people that we care and that we love them. Let’s be Jesus to them. When Jesus was on earth, He attracted crowds of thousands with His words and His love. Jesus displayed beneficial qualities or features that induced people to accept what He was offering. He was attractive. He attracted followers; He attracted people who needed healed, set free and loved. They were drawn to Him, not to the religious Pharisees! They were drawn to love.

It is the goodness of God that draws men to repentance. (Romans 2:4) We cannot back away from sharing that God is good because some leave off the repentance part. No! Proper use is : the goodness of God will draw men to repent! We attract people with His goodness and then we share, in love, the need for repentance. THAT is attractive.

Let’s choose to walk in His love and choose to be attractive. Let’s let Him shine through us!

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